Gift For Business Owners Buyers, Sellers & DIYers
Inspection Conference
Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Results 1 to 65 of 395
Like Tree19Likes

Thread: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

  1. #1
    Jason Cammelleri's Avatar
    Jason Cammelleri Guest

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,349

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Cammelleri;44841[SIZE=3
    Our reps make an average of $15/hr. based on individual performance.[/SIZE]

    Requirements include a computer with high-speed internet, a digital camera, a reliable vehicle, and self-motivation.
    $15 an hour? This must be a typo. With gas costing around $4 a gallon and higher in some parts of the country I would hope that you would be paying around $75 to $125 per hour or better. Heck, you can make $15 an hour as a "Tilt-A-Whirl" greaser!

    It is time for jobbers like your company to realize that times have changed and expense are not what they were 10 years ago. Insurance field work has historically been low paying and one of the main reasons that experienced inspectors do not do them.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Jason Cammelleri's Avatar
    Jason Cammelleri Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    No Content

    Last edited by Jason Cammelleri; 05-27-2008 at 11:02 AM.

  4. #4
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Ditto Scott.


  5. #5
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    22,277

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Cammelleri View Post
    Most people in your field work for us as Independent Contractors to supplement their income by filling in any downtime in their day. In between home inspections is commonly a time used to complete our surveys.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    It is time for jobbers like your company to realize that times have changed and expense are not what they were 10 years ago. Insurance field work has historically been low paying and one of the main reasons that experienced inspectors do not do them.
    Scott's reply is well worth repeating.

    Jason,

    It does not matter *what* is being done, when one is responsible for these costs (from your first post) "Requirements include a computer with high-speed internet, a digital camera, a reliable vehicle,", there is an inherent base line cost, which includes *purchasing and owning* the required equipment, to *operating and insuring* the required equipment.

    While you may think that "spare time" is *free*, have you ever gone to a "burger place" and asked them to make yours for 15 cents, you know, 'between when they are making others for full price customers'? How many takers have you had? Yet that is what you are asking of us.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Jason,

    I burn around $8 in gas, round trip, to and from a typical inspection, and that's in a urban area, in a 4cyl Subaru.

    For $7 an hour, I'd rather be marketing.

    And, I'm sure, you are providing insurance to cover my liability if someone disputes my findings.

    You're NOT???

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,349

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Looks like Jason and Mueller Services, Inc., can't take the heat in this discussion. Just delete and it will go away!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
    Andrew Haslett's Avatar
    Andrew Haslett Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I know some time has passed since most of this discussion transpired.

    I will chime in that nothing has changed since last year.

    And Muellers isn't the only company.

    I got a call from a company the other day that wanted me to do a commercial inspection on a large warehouse / logistics building: three page report format, 28 pictures minimum.

    They did offer $125.

    But, the administrative time for the inspection -- download, upload 28 photos, complete the form, upload data -- that is probably 1 hour.

    Then, allow 1 hour or more just trying to contact the correct person to coordinate access to the property -- contact information is never current.

    Then, allow at least a half-day to walk the 250,000 SF or larger facility.

    Hmmmm.... 6 hours, computer, digital camera, vehicle ....

    Scott and others: thank you for the discussion.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,349

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Haslett View Post
    I know some time has passed since most of this discussion transpired.

    I will chime in that nothing has changed since last year.

    And Muellers isn't the only company.

    I got a call from a company the other day that wanted me to do a commercial inspection on a large warehouse / logistics building: three page report format, 28 pictures minimum.

    They did offer $125.

    But, the administrative time for the inspection -- download, upload 28 photos, complete the form, upload data -- that is probably 1 hour.

    Then, allow 1 hour or more just trying to contact the correct person to coordinate access to the property -- contact information is never current.

    Then, allow at least a half-day to walk the 250,000 SF or larger facility.

    Hmmmm.... 6 hours, computer, digital camera, vehicle ....

    Scott and others: thank you for the discussion.
    I had a call last week from a well known "Draw Inspection" company, that I have worked with for about 8 years. They needed 6-8 exterior photos, and complete a one page form of a strip shopping center. The town is about 30 miles away from me as the crow flies, with no easy way to get to the town. I told them it would be $150 and they said they could only pay $75 and she would need to get permission to pay that! The young lady said that they could not pay the $150 and that they would need to find someone else to do the inspection.

    I hope that the jobbers are learning that they need to charge their clients more than what they are doing. The sad thing is that they will always find some poor hungry schmuck to do the work.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,124

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post

    The sad thing is that they will always find some poor hungry schmuck to do the work.

    Scott:
    Remember that statement the next time you shop (for example, at Walmart...); "price" rules our economy--always has, & always will.

    Dom.


  11. #11
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    22,277

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I had a call last week from a well known "Draw Inspection" company, that I have worked with for about 8 years. They needed 6-8 exterior photos, and complete a one page form of a strip shopping center. The town is about 30 miles away from me as the crow flies, with no easy way to get to the town. I told them it would be $150 and they said they could only pay $75 and she would need to get permission to pay that! The young lady said that they could not pay the $150 and that they would need to find someone else to do the inspection.

    I hope that the jobbers are learning that they need to charge their clients more than what they are doing. The sad thing is that they will always find some poor hungry schmuck to do the work.

    Scott,

    Years ago I had the same thing happen with a different outcome.

    They were only going to pay $75 per inspection, and I told them I could not leave the office for less than $300. She called back a few days later and said they could go to $150, I reminded her that I could not leave the office for less that $300. She call a few days later and said $300 per inspection would be okay, they got permission to pay that. Some of the inspections were 80 miles one way, others were basically around the corner, so that was a fair average for those inspections. Even at that price I did not make any real money ... I cannot see anyone being able to do those inspections for the prices those places offer to pay.

    I did those bank draw inspections for them for about 4-5 years or so until I retired and moved, I went all over Miami-Dade and Broward counties, $300 per inspection, and received prompt payment.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    My Rule: Never work for insurance companies. Period.


  13. #13
    Nick Roper's Avatar
    Nick Roper Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Scott,

    Years ago I had the same thing happen with a different outcome.

    They were only going to pay $75 per inspection, and I told them I could not leave the office for less than $300. She called back a few days later and said they could go to $150, I reminded her that I could not leave the office for less that $300. She call a few days later and said $300 per inspection would be okay, they got permission to pay that. Some of the inspections were 80 miles one way, others were basically around the corner, so that was a fair average for those inspections. Even at that price I did not make any real money ... I cannot see anyone being able to do those inspections for the prices those places offer to pay.

    I did those bank draw inspections for them for about 4-5 years or so until I retired and moved, I went all over Miami-Dade and Broward counties, $300 per inspection, and received prompt payment.


    I Know this thread is pretty old but I work for them presently. You're saying they paid you $300 for a full commercial 4-5 yrs ago? You wouldn't believe what they're paying me. I would be estatic for $80. I guess it's time to ask for more money?


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,349

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Roper View Post
    I Know this thread is pretty old but I work for them presently. You're saying they paid you $300 for a full commercial 4-5 yrs ago? You wouldn't believe what they're paying me. I would be estatic for $80. I guess it's time to ask for more money?
    Most lenders will pay $275-$400 for a "typical" commercial draw without any argument. The fee is based on the location, loan amount, size and scope of the property. Keep in mind that the lender is not paying the fee, the person that has the loan does. You just get the check from the lender.

    I just finished a commercial project that lasted 18 months. I was on site about every 3-4 weeks. I took about 20 photos per visit, spent about 20 minutes on site and another 30 minutes doing the report/paperwork. It is good work if you can get it.

    Residential (local) you can typically get $50 to $100 per visit, depending on the size of the home. Your time on-site is around 5-10 minutes...
    Deal with the local lenders and you will make more money......

    JAMES FATE likes this.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  15. #15
    Nick Roper's Avatar
    Nick Roper Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Sorry for the delayed response. I forgot my password and they locked me out. Anyway I am new to this type of work. I statrted with them in August with no experience. They trained me and I believe I have learned an awful lot in the past few months. I think when I do a commercial they have someone with your type of crudentials and or experience look it over and add and adjust to what the company wants. I'm doing most of the footwork and the majority of the reposrt though. I would love to know what they're getting paid for me doing the work. It makes me wonder if I'm the person you guys are talking about in earlier posts.


  16. #16
    Jason Klein's Avatar
    Jason Klein Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Well, folks...I've taken Mueller's bait, with a grain of salt. I'm going to try being a home inspector for them. Hopefully it'll be a great experience for me!

    Talking about some mixed comments on this thread. If it works out, and I'm making more than my $8500/yr dishwashing job, awesome...if not, well, you told me so!


  17. #17
    K Mangum's Avatar
    K Mangum Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I began working for Mueller in November of 2010 after replying to an ad in our local paper. I went through online training in about 3 weeks and was immediately inundated with a tremendous amount of work. I worked steadily until May of 2010 and then gave notice. I was encouraged to stay on and agreed to do only Exterior surveys and Occupancy Verifications. After a few months they practically begged me to pick up some more work as they had no other field reps in my area.

    I think I knew what I was getting into but have found the pay to be very low. I was told that I would only do my county with "occasional" forays into adjacent counties. That has not been the case. Although compensation is adjusted slightly for increased mileage, it is by no means adequate. Mueller has a convoluted system for fee adjustments based on the amount of work you have done for the week. Their goal is for you to make $13.00 hour and make sure they are in compliance with the wage and hour people.

    An Occupancy Verification pays $6.00 - no mileage. Unless you are surveying the house next door, there is no way one can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Once you have driven and taken the pictures, you must then upload your pictures on the computer and submit your report. An Exterior with a diagram pays $13 - no mileage. Again, you must drive to case, upload photos and then submit a computer generated sketch. Efficiency is the key - you must try to coordinate your surveys so that you can make the most efficient use of your time. This is not always easy as cases are assigned twice a week and have different due dates. Example - you may plan to do five cases in an outlying neighborhood today and then tomorrow be assigned an additional case in that area. Interior surveys pay $26. They require setting up an appt with the homeowner which is often difficult and requires a great deal of time on the telephone.

    Mueller has several clients in my area. The bulk of the work is for one particular insurance company. This company has a great deal of low income policyholders and I have spent a lot of time in some very undesirable neighborhoods, in some very undesirable homes.

    Earlier this year, this particular company required that all uploaded photos be labeled. Again, this added more time to the survey process. There was no increase in compensation.

    All of one's work is reviewed by QA - Quality Assurance. They will return your work in a heartbeat for any number of reasons - forgot to label a photograph, skipped a question on the input form, etc. Even if 90% of your work is perfect, never will you hear a positive comment.

    Each field rep answers to a "manager." All questions and concerns are to be directed to your manager. I generally correspond with email - my manager usually responds within 6-8 hours (business hours only). I have tried to call a number of times with urgent questions but have never had a phone call returned.

    Again, I knew what I was getting into and the flexibility to work my own hours is important to me at this time. However, I do think that their pay scale is woefully out of line given the time component involved. You will get NO positive reinforcement from them no matter how well you do your job or how willing you are to accept a job outside of your territory. Perhaps this is why they are having trouble recruiting and keeping qualified field reps.

    I currently have an outstanding compensation issue with them concerning a day of travel. I trust that they will do the right thing and compensate me as as agreed.


  18. #18
    Diana Lipinski's Avatar
    Diana Lipinski Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by K Mangum View Post
    I began working for Mueller in November of 2010 after replying to an ad in our local paper. I went through online training in about 3 weeks and was immediately inundated with a tremendous amount of work. I worked steadily until May of 2010 and then gave notice. I was encouraged to stay on and agreed to do only Exterior surveys and Occupancy Verifications. After a few months they practically begged me to pick up some more work as they had no other field reps in my area.

    I think I knew what I was getting into but have found the pay to be very low. I was told that I would only do my county with "occasional" forays into adjacent counties. That has not been the case. Although compensation is adjusted slightly for increased mileage, it is by no means adequate. Mueller has a convoluted system for fee adjustments based on the amount of work you have done for the week. Their goal is for you to make $13.00 hour and make sure they are in compliance with the wage and hour people.

    An Occupancy Verification pays $6.00 - no mileage. Unless you are surveying the house next door, there is no way one can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Once you have driven and taken the pictures, you must then upload your pictures on the computer and submit your report. An Exterior with a diagram pays $13 - no mileage. Again, you must drive to case, upload photos and then submit a computer generated sketch. Efficiency is the key - you must try to coordinate your surveys so that you can make the most efficient use of your time. This is not always easy as cases are assigned twice a week and have different due dates. Example - you may plan to do five cases in an outlying neighborhood today and then tomorrow be assigned an additional case in that area. Interior surveys pay $26. They require setting up an appt with the homeowner which is often difficult and requires a great deal of time on the telephone.

    Mueller has several clients in my area. The bulk of the work is for one particular insurance company. This company has a great deal of low income policyholders and I have spent a lot of time in some very undesirable neighborhoods, in some very undesirable homes.

    Earlier this year, this particular company required that all uploaded photos be labeled. Again, this added more time to the survey process. There was no increase in compensation.

    All of one's work is reviewed by QA - Quality Assurance. They will return your work in a heartbeat for any number of reasons - forgot to label a photograph, skipped a question on the input form, etc. Even if 90% of your work is perfect, never will you hear a positive comment.

    Each field rep answers to a "manager." All questions and concerns are to be directed to your manager. I generally correspond with email - my manager usually responds within 6-8 hours (business hours only). I have tried to call a number of times with urgent questions but have never had a phone call returned.

    Again, I knew what I was getting into and the flexibility to work my own hours is important to me at this time. However, I do think that their pay scale is woefully out of line given the time component involved. You will get NO positive reinforcement from them no matter how well you do your job or how willing you are to accept a job outside of your territory. Perhaps this is why they are having trouble recruiting and keeping qualified field reps.

    I currently have an outstanding compensation issue with them concerning a day of travel. I trust that they will do the right thing and compensate me as as agreed.

    I just appied to this company....I'm worring if I done the right thing???? I'm thinking of quiting a $12 hour job for this....however the treatment I recieve from my job now is AWFUL.....


  19. #19
    K Mangum's Avatar
    K Mangum Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    If you are expecting $13/hour and to get 40 hours of work per week, do not take the position. On a really good week, I MIGHT make $225.00. Often I make less than $100. As I said earlier, right now it works for me because I have a number of other obligations that I have to work around. When they hired me, they told me I would average 15-20 hours a week. That is somewhat misleading as the weeks that I made the most, I also drove the most, so I was covering my gas out of that total.
    I am happy to answer any questions you might have. I don't know where you live, but I think that the pay scale varies by where you live. I will tell you that they will not tell you in advance (before you are hired) how much you will get paid for the different cases. They will only tell you that you will "average" a particular dollar amount per hour.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,349

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana Lipinski View Post
    I just appied to this company....I'm worring if I done the right thing???? I'm thinking of quiting a $12 hour job for this....however the treatment I recieve from my job now is AWFUL.....
    If you plan on making a living just doing this type of work you will be in the poor house in short order. Service work like what is in this tread is not going to make you enough money to live on.

    At $13 an hour or whatever it works out to be does not take into consideration fuel cost, travel time, reporting time, etc.....

    My suggestion is to go and flip burgers instead of doing service work that does not pay enough!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I started at Mueller a few weeks ago, with construction experience but little else. It's especially tough at the beginning to make any money - just learning what the different insurance companies want and getting used to their forms takes time. With nothing but two weeks of online training the switch to the real world is brutal, especially because your one tenuous human link to the company is 1000 miles away and has 80 other field reps to deal with. I'm sure it becomes more routine with time, but at the moment just estimating the year the plumbing was last renovated is a shot in the dark. Sometimes it would be nice to talk to another field rep just to vent my frustration.

    That said, it's an interesting job in that I get to go in a lot of houses, some quite nice and old, and there are all kinds of oddities to see and things to learn about. It's good experience if I want to go into home inspection. But a lot of work for little pay (my weekly pay is supposed to be adjusted to $12/hour, but so far that has not happened and it's about $10.50 if I deduct mileage) and that's just one reason they have such a high turnover.

    (K Mangum - isn't labeling photos a pain? I have 3 companies that want labels.)


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Laurinburg, NC
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I also started working for them a little while back (not too recently, but haven't been here all that long). I also agree that the pay is not great - the amount paid certainly doesn't seem to correlate to the amount of work done. Commercials are a prime example of a LOT of work for very little pay - sometimes they are rather large places, and it takes a lot of time just to walk through, let alone get pictures, measurements, interview questions, and making sure you don't miss anything.

    Scott - $50 for a residential report would be amazing - I get paid half that for a complete interior walk through. How does one go about making that sort of move (from a company such as this one, to something that pays a bit better)?

    Kristi - feel free to vent Private messages would probably be best!


  23. #23
    Jason Ganly's Avatar
    Jason Ganly Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    This thread is really interesting... I just submitted my app and now I am doing the assessment test.

    Did they pay you guys while training? If so how much?


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I got $13/hr during training. They say about 2/3 of those who start training get through it and are actually hired. There's a lot of stuff to remember, but at least it's (mostly) interesting. I think they've changed it a bit since I went through it. I was told it would be about 30 hours, but if you take less time (I did it in about 20-25 hrs) you're more likely to be hired. Good luck!

    "(my weekly pay is supposed to be adjusted to $12/hour, ...)"
    This was not actually the case - I misunderstood my manager.


  25. #25
    Mueller Employee X's Avatar
    Mueller Employee X Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hello,
    A lot of this stuff is true, but a lot of it is based on region. The more densely populated regions have higher volume, and those field inspectors make SIGNIFICANTLY more work. They hold onto field inspectors in certain areas just to cover their work load to make sure time requirements are met for certain insurance companies. Training is fairly detailed, and can be over-whelming for some people, but if you are smart, there are ways to get around stuff and make the job "work for you". Also, throughout this feed, people have raised the question about cost of materials type topic..Some cheaper equipment is sufficient, and a lot of it can be used as write-offs (You are not expected to run out and buy a computer JUST for this job, and not expected to run out and spend $500 on an Ashton Kucher Nikon camera. There are other things to pick up as time goes by and experience occurs (sentence may not be accurate ).
    When you start the job sucks, and it feels like it's a waste of time, but in some cases, once you "get your feet wet" things start to look better.


  26. #26
    Robin Frehner's Avatar
    Robin Frehner Guest

    Talking Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Just for the record. I love my Mueller job. Yes, it takes up a lot of time but there is no shortage of entertainment. Policyholder's are interesting...to say the least, sometimes difficult. I've been with them for several month now getting more work, more money and much less rejected cases from Q.A. It'd be nice to get $300 per inspection, but money isn't a driving force (for me personally). What they pay will do for now and at least I'm NOT flipping burgers. My only complaint is the incredible old operating online system. Getting your cases in isn't always easy, but every job has it's glitches and sometimes you just have to kick back and punt. If you are applying for this job, patience is key either you have it or you're willing to improve on it. It took me 3 months to work up to a full time wage, but if you've been unemployed for a while, what do you have to lose?
    It's always worth a shot at Mueller, this company is surviving.


  27. #27
    Mike Monroe's Avatar
    Mike Monroe Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hi,

    The question is about the pay. Lets pretend they pay $25 for an inspection. Do they give you mileage on top of that? Or is that built into the $25. If you drive 30 miles each way, I can't figure out how they expect you to not be reimbursed for mileage. Or you do 20 in one day and you put a couple of hundred miles on the car. In other words, what is the total amount I would receive for that one inspection? Trying to figure out if it's worth it.

    Mike


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    No, mileage is not reimbursed; no expenses are. Unfortunately there's really no way they could do so without FRs abusing it or being really inefficient about the way they go to their cases. However, if the mileage is especially high to a case they will sometimes adjust the fee to account for it. One of the tricks to earning a decent wage is to learn how to be efficient in the driving. Managers usually try to assign groups of cases in fairly close proximity to each other.

    I was happy to read Robin's post. I like my job, too, and it's much less frustrating as time goes on. I'm still not making much for the time I work, but for now I'm OK with that. I'm learning a lot, enjoying it and doing a good job rather than rushing through things. I intend to make the quality of my work worth higher fees, which they do give to people who earn it. I'm sure many FRs "get around stuff and make the job 'work for you'" (still wondering just what that means)...depends on your personality I guess.

    Last edited by Kristi Silber; 12-29-2011 at 03:47 PM.

  29. #29
    Robert Haggerty's Avatar
    Robert Haggerty Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Why has no one mentioned Federal tax deduction for milage ($0.51/mile - 2011)

    A common unreimbursed business expense is mileage driven in a personal vehicle as a required part of your job. The IRS does not allow you to deduct mileage to or from your primary place of employment. You can deduct for unreimbursed mileage related to business trips or situations where an employer requires you to drive to multiple job sites. The IRS publishes a standardized mileage rate every year that you can use to claim a deduction for your unreimbursed mileage expense.

    Publication 529 (2010), Miscellaneous Deductions

    The only problem is that these deductions don't do you any good until they come to more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income, or AGI. That means with an AGI of $30,000, you must have expenses of more than $600 before the expenses are deductible, and then, only the amount over $600 is deductable.

    You should also be able to deduct your cellphone use: Can Cellphone Expenses Be Tax Deductible With a Business? - TurboTax® Tax Tips & Videos, as well as unreimbursed office supplies and possibly your computer and camera.


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Personally, I never mentioned it because the deduction is of minimal significance compared to the expense of fueling and maintaining a car. Mueller automatically deducts mileage from our fees, then gives it back to us as if it were actual mileage compensation, thereby making that part of our check tax-free.

    Thank you, Robert, for that first link. I was looking for that sort of information. (Haven't gotten to the second link yet, but thanks for that, too!)

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  31. #31
    K Mangum's Avatar
    K Mangum Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I was a little bit surprised about the amount of appointment work that was assigned over Thanksgiving. I ado not like bothering people on holidays and found it very difficult to even find time to call. I was assigned almost 30 interior cases in two weeks. Almost every one of them involved a tenant occupied risk which makes the telephoning and appointment scheduling hard. I requested lots of extensions and my manager was very nice about it.

    My manager is new and has been a bit slow to respond. I have two cases that are going to be late because he has yet to answer a question about one and adjust the fee on another. I personally think I should get a response within 24 hours, but since I did not these two will sit all weekend and I will get several evil emails telling me my cases are late!

    I have been working here for a year now. I have yet to see an increase in compensation - I am still being paid the same as I was when I was hired.

    Just curious - what is everyone's average error percentage? I am always "green" but wondered how my work compares.


  32. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Bummer to have a new manager. I feel like they have a lot on their plate, but still, we should get a quick response to questions, considering the concerns about late reports. My late percentage is 20% right now, which is totally ridiculous; I don't know what numbers they're using, but they aren't right! My error rate is the highest it's ever been, at 23% - again, ridiculous, and demoralizing. My lowest was 15%. I've been there 3 months now, including training.

    So, what's your percent?

    As far as I can see, the way our compensation is adjusted is apparently when our managers decide to give us a higher fee on some case. Which isn't always that great when it's really just compensating us for close-outs, high mileage, or time-consuming cases (geez, HVs take me a long time!). And we're totally at their mercy, so best stay on their good side!

    (That said, I like my manager...happens to be the one who started this thread!)

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  33. #33
    K Mangum's Avatar
    K Mangum Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    My error percent was about 18% at its worst. What is frustrating is that some of the errors were NOT errors, but QA mistakes. I have not made a fuss about it because I really am old enough not to be on Red Light - Green Light anymore! After a point in time, errors drop off - I have no idea how that works - and your percentage will change.

    Since I am frequently asked to go outside of the area I was hired for, I am pretty insistent on being compensated for mileage and extra time. My former manager was very understanding about it; although the extra compensation is minimal. Usually I ask for the fee adjustment and then submit because I was told that NO changes, including compensation amount, can be changed after submission. What has upset me this week is that my manager has not responded and here my case sits, waiting to be turned in, and now late.

    It doesn't seem to make sense that you get paid the same for drawing and photographing a 900 SF house that is a basic rectangle and the same amount for a 5000 SF house that has all sorts of crazy angles and a bizarre footprint. I am pretty good with the computer, but sometimes it takes a few tries to get the sketch correct!

    Back to the error thing - it would certainly be nice to be told by someone that you were doing a good job, wouldn't it?!


  34. #34
    Barbarito Viera's Avatar
    Barbarito Viera Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I had a companies offering to me $26.00 per inspection out of Chicago and to perform the loss control inspection in Miami, Florida. At present I am looking for work on loss control inspections; if anyone knows anyone in Miami hiring please shoot me a comment.
    Thanks.


  35. #35
    M Newman's Avatar
    M Newman Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hi Guys and Gals,

    Just signed up to see what others thought of Mueller. Thanks for the insight in the posts above. I have an email in the inbox to call for an interview today, and since it's the only one in a couple of months it looks like I'll go after it.

    The big question is; Anyone making a reasonable (above poverty line) salary with them?

    MN


  36. #36
    TommyV's Avatar
    TommyV Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I'd like to give it a shot too but I have trouble linking to their aptitute test through the application. I contacted their IT rep but still have trouble. The link routed me back to their homepage. If you did it frpm their website, how did you do it?


  37. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    It takes a while to get efficient enough to make what they advertise at (which was $13 here, anyway). And how quickly that happens depends on your background and personal style and ability. I've been working for Mueller for 3 months, and still feel like it's a new job sometimes, but my "hourly" wage has gone up, as they said it would. Still not making $13/hr every week, but that's partly because I'm happy for now taking my time and learning as much as I can in the process. I believe Mueller does appreciate and wants to retain good, thorough FRs (field reps), and the effort is rewarded through occasional increased fees for individual surveys. (I'm sure there are also those, like Mueller Employee X, who learn "ways to get around stuff and make the job 'work for you'", but I'm not one of them.)

    Although it is certainly frustrating at first, and time consuming, I like my job and my manager. You have to be self-motivated, detail-oriented, willing to tromp through people's yards uninvited (even in bad neighborhoods)...and you can't expect a lot of good feedback. Being polite and personable helps, too, when it comes to making appointments and getting the most info out of the homeowner you can.

    Tommy - when I did my aptitude assessment it was sent to me via email. I'm not sure where on the site you are looking, but you have to be hired before you can access most of it. Or, at least that's the way it was when I started; maybe it's different now. They have changed some things since I started, including some of the training. If you have a contact in HR, ask them about it...or call and ask to be connected to HR.

    As for above poverty line salary, it must be remembered that this is a part-time job, not a salaried position. To a large extent how much you make is dependent on how much you're willing to put into it, but there is a limit to how many cases they have to give you. I've never run out of cases, and when I request more I get them, but that may depend on where you are. I don't really know. At any rate, don't expect to make $13/hr right away. For the first couple months I averaged about $10/hr.

    Hope this helps!

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  38. #38
    M Newman's Avatar
    M Newman Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Tommy, the aptitude test was linked at the end of the first online employment application for me and I did it right away. You should be able to get to it in the confirmation email they send back to you and when you get access to your dashboard.

    Thanks Kristi, $10 is what they told me for the training period and "more" when I start "collecting data"... half of what I usually made

    Has anyone been trained by them for Wind Mitigation?


  39. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Now I'm curious about the training. I know they've made some changes to the program. How long did they say the training period would be? I got $13/hr for training, which lasted 2 weeks. I'm actually writing a letter to them regarding some of the material.

    Does the normal training include high value surveys?

    So the aptitude test is now online? I had to print a hard copy and fax it in.

    I haven't been trained in wind mitigation, or any of the extras.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  40. #40
    Bob InNE's Avatar
    Bob InNE Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I've worked for Mueller for 2 years now. All of what has been written is true. Here's my thoughts after 2 years:
    The pay is low. But the work is not hard. I've been making around $350 per week (take home with mileage allowances). Every now and then I earn $500, or $100 if cases are slow or weather is bad. Dont expect a raise, you wont be getting one.
    I'm fairly confident that Mueller doesn't want you talking to each other, lest you unionize. It will only be by luck that you ever meet another rep.
    I think as long as you get your work done, and are not a "problem" new cases will flow into you in box. Your manager is swamped, keep a low profile and be eager to do work. Dont be a sweaky wheel.

    Mileage: Schedule appointments first. I do that on Mondays and Thursdays. Remember, 2 call to the PH & 1 to the agent and you can close out. Close out the non-replies asap.
    Next, print out all your exteriors and sort them by area/zip codes. I use google maps to make a route every morning. I try to make a big circle to save on gas.

    QA: Don't worry about stats, as long as you are green, your manager doesn't care.
    Late case don't count against you if you ask for extensions. Your manager can usually give you 2 weeks, no questions asked.
    Don't question or debate QA. Just fix it and move on.


  41. #41
    Jerry Sanders's Avatar
    Jerry Sanders Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    There is a link to the apptitude test on the first page of the application you filled out. It is about middle of that page and you do it on line.

    I did the test and phone interview today.

    i read all the post on this thread and believe there are a few more threads re Muellers.

    I am retired, bored, and need something to do.

    Will give it a whirl if hired.


  42. #42
    Bob InNE's Avatar
    Bob InNE Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    If you're retired or a student, it's a pretty good job. You can work from home, choose your own hours.
    If you're young and thinking this a pretty good job at $10-15 per hour, think again. It tends to be seasonal (Jan-Feb are very slow). Consider taking the job and also signing up for University of Phoenix to train for some much better, future job.


  43. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,844

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    It is interesting that the OP member has removed his content. Guess he became worried as to repercussions for speaking out of school with out permission.

    Hope that OP member doesn't catch any flack. Companies can get paranoid at times.

    The posts seem to be truthful and actually fairly positive about the company. Relatively speaking good PR.


  44. #44
    Mueller Fieldrep's Avatar
    Mueller Fieldrep Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hey Guys,
    I have read through the responses and have a few pieces of information to provide. First, you can make a living wage working with Mueller. I average about $20-22 per hour. Before you say it isn't possible, I will tell you how I can do it. First, I only work in the field 3 days, I try for two and I will only add a fourth day if there is no other option.

    You can't let the policyholder dictate the date and time of the survey. They will always want to have you come over on saturday afternoon or after five during the week. I give the PH two options, if that doesn't work I will go to the next week. If they can't or won't accomodate me, I close out the case. Yes, sometimes I have a bunch of closeouts but it has never been mentioned to me so I assume it isn't a problem. Don't waste time on cases with no response. I had a case this week where I had two numbers from the company. Both were out of service. The agent had 2 more numbers, both out of service. No info online. It took me 7 minutes and the case was sent back

    You need to convince your manager to give you alot of cases at once. My manager is very good about this and it makes my job much easier. The mindset at Mueller (and managers make it so) is that the field rep doesn't know when more cases are coming or how many. Today, I already have my schedule for next week. Cases I received this week have alredy been called and fit into the cases I already had scheduled. From other reps that I have spoken with, they try to get all thier cases done asap. Extensions are your friend.

    Another issue I have found it that QA wants no extra information. The customer wants no extra information. If it's not on the sheet, don't bother with it.

    You need to use some type of mapping software. Not google or mapquest. The Mueller website supports MS Streets and trips. Ask your manager about it. I bought mine for $16 on amazon. I agree, we shouldn't have to buy our own software but thats the way it is. You will make the money back in 2 days on the gas you will save. It lets you optimize your route and customize your route to avoid areas with heavy traffic or areas you know will take extra time.

    When you print your cases, print only the 1st sheet. Take a copy of the entire report and get them made at kinkos or somewhere similar. You will save a ton over buying your own ink and paper. I had 200 made yesterday. If you do print your own, change the font to a smaller size to save paper and fit everything on less pages. Take your pictures in the same order at every home. Don't take any extra pictures. Also, remember the time you spend loading pictures is counted towards your weekly hours. Change the resolution on your camera. Lower resolution means less time uploading. Start uploading your pictures and go have lunch.

    I agree, High Value and commercial cases are a real pain. Unless you can get them done quickly. Use the phone interview to get as much information as you can. If the house was recently sold or purchased, use zillow.com to check it out. Sometimes there will be a pretty extensive description of the home. If the home was recently built, you may be able to get the plans online from the builders website. Sometimes a call to the builder can get you the layout of the home.

    Keep a list of all the fire departments you look up. Everytime I look one up I add it to my mapping software. It used to take me a few minutes to find the closest fire service. Now, it literally takes me 10 seconds to find it. I have inspected more than 3000 homes for mueller, I have found 1 home that wasn't within 1000 feet of a hydrant. Unless you are in the middle of nowhere, you can assume it's there.

    Ok, here is the info that will probably result in an email for all reps. Most if not all of the experienced reps do it and I am sure mueller is quietly aware. 75% of high values narratives are going to be the same. Hardwood on the first floor, tile kitchen, granite countertops, etc. Save your narratives for future use. It is much easier to change a few words rather then write a paragraph.

    Now, having said all of the above, there are a few reasons why this works. My cases are usually within 10 miles of my home. I don't get many USAA cases which are a pain to label. I sometimes have to work in areas that are not the safest. I suggest you get there early, as early as you can get an appointment.

    In regards to expenses for work. I usually fill my tank once a week and drive between 150 and 200 miles a week. Its less than my last commute for work. I already had a computer and high speed internet. i would have these things whether I worked for Mueller or not. My wifes company pays for them. I did buy a different camera.

    There are pros and cons for every job.

    Pros:

    You make your own schedule
    You work by yourself
    You meet new and "interesting" people everyday
    Very little interference from management.
    If you want a day off, it's yours.

    Cons:

    Traffic
    Very little oversight from Mueller
    Lack of training once you are past the online portion.
    QA sometimes being ridiculous


    After all of the above, I have a few things for Muller managers to consider. I know they read this forum.

    Feedback is good. QA is quick to point out our errors. It would be nice if you guys mentioned we are doing a good job.

    QA, if you find two errors, why not mention both in the same rejection? I sometimes think you guys are paid based on the number of rejections. Do you get a kick of rejecting a case and then rejecting it a second time?

    QA, if QA person number 1 rejects a case, it should go back to person #1.

    Some type of garment that identifies us as employees of the company. Maybe Mueller hats for when the weather is bad. I dress rather casually for work, usually dockers and a plain button down shirt. A Mueller shirt would be nice. Even nicer would be a rain coat that has the name of the company on it.

    Any questions, feel free to ask.


  45. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Thank you very much for all the tips! Some I'll use, some I won't, but there are a lot of good ideas there.

    (You are right that Mueller knows about this thread and the forum.)

    I think the max. wage one can earn at Mueller depends partly on geography - not only the distance factor, but also types of cases one gets. Some are easier than others, and it's harder to get used to a wide range of them. My HVs, for example, have all been very different from each other; there's no way to create a "template" for them even if I wanted to.

    I've been meaning to ask you, MuellerFieldrep, what kind of houses you are assigned - or is it a mixture? A lot of old, a lot of new, both? Rowhouses or detached?

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  46. #46
    Mueller Fieldrep's Avatar
    Mueller Fieldrep Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    Thank you very much for all the tips! Some I'll use, some I won't, but there are a lot of good ideas there.

    (You are right that Mueller knows about this thread and the forum.)

    I think the max. wage one can earn at Mueller depends partly on geography - not only the distance factor, but also types of cases one gets. Some are easier than others, and it's harder to get used to a wide range of them. My HVs, for example, have all been very different from each other; there's no way to create a "template" for them even if I wanted to.

    I've been meaning to ask you, MuellerFieldrep, what kind of houses you are assigned - or is it a mixture? A lot of old, a lot of new, both? Rowhouses or detached?
    I work on all types of houses. Everything from rowhouses to a log cabin. The log cabin was the easiest case I have ever completed. 24x24 1 story slap with a fireplace. I was able to capture the interior with 1 picture since there was no kirtchen. And get this, it was considered an high value since it was hand built with a stone interior. My narrative was 3 sentences.

    On the use of a template, I use one but I still need to alter it to fit th individual home. I also find I make fewer errors using the template since it contains all the information I need, it's hard to leave anything out.

    Just out of curiousity, have you ever met another field rep? And did your manager ever discuss this website with you. My manger is good but I don't have much conversation with them. In fact, it's not unusual for me to go a week or two without speaking to them. I couldn't tell you how old they are, married or single.


  47. #47
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I haven't met another FR. I'd like to.

    (Edited)...And those non-FR Mueller personnel who may read this, maybe I should say a few words, since I do use my real name and have come Mueller's attention. I participate in this forum mostly to learn how to be a better, more efficient, more accurate FR. At times I have complained about aspects of working for Mueller, but I've also said good things about it; nothing I've said is untrue in my experience, but others have different experiences.

    It's almost inevitable that Mueller FRs find each other and vent frustrations. It's an isolated job - no contact with coworkers, not even communication with more than one person in the company. It's especially hard early on, right after training, being thrown to the wolves.

    Last edited by Kristi Silber; 01-01-2012 at 12:59 AM. Reason: edited for privacy content
    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  48. #48
    Mueller Fieldrep's Avatar
    Mueller Fieldrep Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I was a manger in my last position. I ran a construction crew of 8-10 guys working on high value homes. The company I worked for was small but was very up to date in keeping thier employees trained, this included managers. We were constantly told how the company's most important asset was it's employees. In speaking with my manager in the past, I know I do a good job. Simpy put, Mueller doesn't keep you around or give you cases if you aren't good at the job. My manager has never told me I do a good job. I have to infer this by the number of cases I receive, the low rejection rate and receiving higher than usual fees for cases.

    As I said above, I have been a manager. I cannot think of one reason why Mueller is so adamant about not providing feedback to it's employees. What possible harm could come of two field reps meeting to discuss better ways to do the job?

    I will provide an honest asessment of Mueller for anyone who wants to listen. Like every company, Mueller has both good and bad points. In my humble opinion, Mueller is no worse than previous companies I have worked for. However, the good points outweigh the bad. I can make my own schedule, move as fast or slow as I choose. If I am not feeling well and need time off, I can do it. There is no micromanagement. The thing I like most of all, there is no office politics. I do my job and receive a fair wage. In this economy, thats not a bad deal.

    I will say this, keeping employees in the dark breeds mistrust. I have no reason to not trust my manager or anyone at Mueller for that matter. Having said that, what reason do they have not to trust field reps.

    If anyone from Mueller would like to respond (maybe an owner or manager) please do so.

    Last edited by Mueller Fieldrep; 01-01-2012 at 05:29 AM.

  49. #49
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    "I cannot think of one reason why Mueller is so adamant about not providing feedback to it's employees."

    Perhaps it's because our managers don't have any way to judge except by our errors, and to QA we're just faceless reports.

    There are over Mueller 1000 FRs in the lower 48.

    "What possible harm could come of two field reps meeting to discuss better ways to do the job?"

    I imagine they worry about FRs sharing tricks of the trade or getting disgruntled with venting, or spread a feeling of entitlement because some get extra for certain jobs, not realizing all the time that it may cover.

    "I will say this, keeping employees in the dark breeds mistrust..."
    It also affects employee allegiance.
    "...I have no reason to not trust my manager or anyone at Mueller for that matter. Having said that, what reason do they have not to trust field reps."

    They should trust us, since we're the keepers of the knowledge! (She says, having inadvertently and stupidly blown that trust. Sigh. )

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  50. #50
    Mueller Fieldrep's Avatar
    Mueller Fieldrep Guest

    Wink Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    "I cannot think of one reason why Mueller is so adamant about not providing feedback to it's employees."

    Perhaps it's because our managers don't have any way to judge except by our errors, and to QA we're just faceless reports.

    There are over Mueller 1000 FRs in the lower 48.

    "What possible harm could come of two field reps meeting to discuss better ways to do the job?"

    I imagine they worry about FRs sharing tricks of the trade or getting disgruntled with venting, or spread a feeling of entitlement because some get extra for certain jobs, not realizing all the time that it may cover.

    "I will say this, keeping employees in the dark breeds mistrust..."
    It also affects employee allegiance.
    "...I have no reason to not trust my manager or anyone at Mueller for that matter. Having said that, what reason do they have not to trust field reps."

    They should trust us, since we're the keepers of the knowledge! (She says, having inadvertently and stupidly blown that trust. Sigh. )
    Intent is everything. Did you intend to blow that trust and purposely do something to cause it? Then it was an accident. We all make mistakes.


  51. #51
    Bob InNE's Avatar
    Bob InNE Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    TAXES:

    I checked with my CPA who instructed me to write off all my mileage. I also am claiming unreimbursed business expenses for my phone, a new printer, a new measuring wheel, paper reams, and printer cartridges. So, I have $4,500 in expenses to write off.

    Check and see if you can write off all these expenses, too.


  52. #52
    Dub Smith's Avatar
    Dub Smith is offline Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Durant, OK
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Don't forget, as an independent contractor, you can also claim your Liability Insurance premiums, licensing fees, postage, and the largest deduction you can take is the portion of your Home Expenses as a percentage of area used as a home office. That includes mortgage interest, Property taxes, utilities, and any repairs or improvements made that benefits your Home Office. Another business savings you can take unrelated to your taxes is to classify your vehicle as a Commercial Vehicle with your State Tax Commission, that greatly reduces the cost of your Vehicle Tag each year. Many Happy Returns!!

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
    Jubilee Home Inspections

  53. #53
    BridgeMan's Avatar
    BridgeMan is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I suspect a lot of Mueller employees don't deduct their travel and business expenses because they typically use the IRS's standard deduction instead of itemized deductions. Young and healthy, no mortgage or property tax deductions, etc., result in the standard deduction being the only option. Being of sound mind and (sometimes) capable of coherant thought, I would never consider working for Mueller--but in reality, I think it's an insult to expect anyone to complete a detailed and comprehensive report, while working for peanuts. If the economy ever picks up, I'd urge all Mueller people to look into becoming home inspectors, or even construction inspectors, instead. You already have the basics, so just hunker down, study, and take the ASHI, NACHI or other required tests to get certified in your specialty area.

    I definitely think flipping burgers, or even stooping to be a Walmart greeter, would be preferable alternatives to Mueller. No wear and tear on the car, no bad neighborhoods to deal with, and possibly even some bennies if you work enough hours in a week.


  54. #54
    K Mangum's Avatar
    K Mangum Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I don't think you can write something off that you have been reimbursed for - for instance, mileage. Mueller reimburses you for mileage even though it is not listed on your W-2. You would have to keep records of your mileage and the most logical way to prove it would be your weekly payroll. The remittance portion of your pay stub indicates that you were reimbursed.


  55. #55
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    K Mangum,

    I don't think that's accurate that we are reimbursed for mileage. At least I'm not - not directly, anyway, though we may be given higher fees if the case involved a lot of driving. Mileage is handled by payroll by first deducting it from our pay, then giving it back to us untaxed.

    As for Dub's comments, we aren't considered contractors, we're employees, though some of the same stuff applies.

    And in response to Bridgeman's comments...Part of the reason I'm working for Mueller is that it's a lot more interesting (and educational, if one chooses) to do this than be a Walmart greeter or flip burgers. The schedule is flexible. One is pretty much one's own boss in a lot of ways. And it could be a stepping stone to other things, like being an HI. Not a bad job in the meantime, especially since our work is in higher demand than work for HIs presently is.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  56. #56
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    .
    especially since our work is in higher demand than work for HIs presently is.
    .
    Ouch!
    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  57. #57
    Mueller Road Warrior's Avatar
    Mueller Road Warrior Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hello all and a special hello to fellow FRs from Mueller;

    First post and a caution: A red flag for the IRS is a home office deduction so be cautious about this. The job is not worth an audit no matter how right you feel you may be.


  58. #58
    BridgeMan's Avatar
    BridgeMan is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Mueller Road Warrior View Post
    First post and a caution: A red flag for the IRS is a home office deduction so be cautious about this. The job is not worth an audit no matter how right you feel you may be.
    I've been claiming a home office IRS tax deduction every year since 1999. All of my tax accountants recommended it (having lived in 3 different states), it's totally legal, and I have records to back up every dollar claimed.

    And I've never been audited. Guess I'm just lucky?


  59. #59
    Mueller Road Warrior's Avatar
    Mueller Road Warrior Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Lucky? Maybe. Most likely since you've been doing this for so long and the types of deductions and amount are consistent.

    But for someone who is a field rep and an actual employee of Muller, an attempt to claim deduction for non reimbursed employee expenses for a cell phone, camera, computer, software, printer, paper, internet connection and service might get the wrong attention. Just saying.

    The biggest expense for us is vehicle expenses. With gas prices going up this spring it will get interesting for those of us that travel up to a couple of hundred miles a day. Interestingly even though the IRS allowed mileage payments of 55 1/2 cents per mile for the second half of 2011, Mueller did not change their reimbursement of 51 cents per mile to match.


  60. #60
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    What's this I hear, another who gets mileage reimbursement? I guess I was too quick to question K Mangum.

    So tell us how long you've been with Mueller, do you like it, are you urban or rural?

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  61. #61
    BridgeMan's Avatar
    BridgeMan is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Mueller probably only reimburses mileage for employees smart enough to ask for it. Sorry, Kristi.

    Just remember--you like it there.


  62. #62
    Mueller Road Warrior's Avatar
    Mueller Road Warrior Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    @ Kristi: I cover an area of roughly 12,000 square miles with several small metropolitan cities and who knows how many (>hundred?) of small towns and villages. It is normal to drive forty to fifty miles or more to reach my first case of the day. I consider it a treat to have cases in my immediate area.

    That being said, I would not work them as an employee unless mileage was paid. If they are not paying your mileage you should be an independent contractor (1099 form please) so you can claim your well deserved deductions. Do not feel sorry for Mueller, they are well compensated for their services and should be taking care of their field people that do the grunt work under all kinds of conditions and weather.

    The last time I checked there were hundreds of openings in the US for Mueller field reps so as several posters have indicated, the turnover rate is high which typically does not speak well of a company and shows up quickly on the internet.

    Do I like my job? For the most part, yes. The work is interesting, I set my own schedule and meet some nice folks. Some homes are incredible. But the after mileage pay is insultingly low and QA can be a slap in the face and sometimes outright stupid. My error ratio is very very low. Several times in the past few weeks I have typed up emails with resignation notices but after a cooling down period have deleted them. Someday one will go through. It will be their loss.


  63. #63
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    Mueller probably only reimburses mileage for employees smart enough to ask for it. Sorry, Kristi.

    Just remember--you like it there.
    I don't think it's a matter of smarts when that company has already told you multiple times that mileage isn't reimbursed.

    I'm guessing it depends on the population density of an area the field rep has to cover. My cases are never more than about 12 miles away, and most are less.

    Yes, the field rep turnover is high, especially in the first few months, I bet. That's the hardest time to get through, and it's when FRs get the lowest pay because it's a hard job to get efficient at...and because in general, Mueller pay isn't commensurate with the knowledge we're supposed to have, and responsibility for so many financial decisions. I know that. It's crazy. But these days it's hard to find any job that is interesting and educational, and that could lead elsewhere. In that sense, the job is what you make of it.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  64. #64
    K Mangum's Avatar
    K Mangum Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    You actually are "unofficially" reimbursed for mileage. Mueller takes those miles you put on your reports, multiplies them by .51 and pays you for them. It is just not considered taxed income. IE - total cases for the week add up to $100 and you put 50 miles on your cases. You will still get $100 (minus FICA) as follows. $100 MINUS (50 X .51 = 25.50). Your paycheck says $100, but they only consider 74.50 of that as taxable income and that is all that is reported on your W-2. Look at your pay stubs and you will see how they do it.
    Hope that helps,
    Kathie


  65. #65
    Bob InNE's Avatar
    Bob InNE Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by K Mangum View Post
    I don't think you can write something off that you have been reimbursed for - for instance, mileage. Mueller reimburses you for mileage even though it is not listed on your W-2. You would have to keep records of your mileage and the most logical way to prove it would be your weekly payroll. The remittance portion of your pay stub indicates that you were reimbursed.
    Just to clarify. Yes, my particular deal is that the mileage expense is deducted from the fee and then reimbursed non-tax. That's why I asked my CPA. He reasoned that the net effect is to NOT reimburse mileage. In effect, they are stealing my deduction. My CPA advised that I simply disregard this strange business practice and file for the mileage.

    I also have other deduction (non-Mueller) that put me over the limit for a standard deduction. So, I'm lucky there.

    I like my job, too. But let's face it- It's very VERY low pay. When I looked at my full year W2, and considered the expenses I paid out of pocket, that became crystal clear.

    I suspect Mueller's executives live in very large homes on the shores of Lake Erie/Ontario. Not to get political, but it's probably true.


Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •